main
side
curve
  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

  2. Our celebration of the 20 Years of the Jedi Council is over!

    Here's to 20 more years!

  3. Our celebration of the 20 Years of the Jedi Council is over!

    Here's to 20 more!

A&A Official Star Wars Publishing Q&A thread

Discussion in 'Literature' started by GrandAdmiralJello , Oct 13, 2017.

  1. GrandAdmiralJello

    GrandAdmiralJello Comms Admin ❉ Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2000
    Litizens, Literati, Littens*, and Littérateurs/teuses:

    *I think Litten is a Pokémon, lol

    It's become pretty common for certain questions to come up repeatedly: "how many books can get published in a year?" or "what's the deal with book sizes" or questions about hardcovers/paperbacks, etc. We are fortunate in that a Del Rey Assistant Editor, DarthInternous has been around to offer some insights into the publishing process for adult Star Wars novels (and occasionally, the publishing biz in general).

    But since these questions have come up before, and since they're not easy to find the answer, DarthInternous has graciously offered to participate in a Q&A thread where he can offer insights on these publishing questions.

    Since we don't want the Q&A to be drowned out or difficult to find, I'm going to ask that folks limit their discussion and focus on questions and/or follow-ups to questions as opposed to chatting amongst themselves, unless someone has insights or input to offer (then by all means share).

    I'm going to see how the thread goes and make decisions on how to run it accordingly, including potentially deleting off-topic posts if they make the thread too difficult to use for people looking for these answers etc. But we'll see how it goes.

    Please remember to be polite -- we have a guest in our community who's happy to share information with us, so let's act accordingly. And please don't ask about things like "Who's Snoke?" or "Is X canon?" -- that's not the purpose of this thread, and he can't really offer us any such answers anyway.

    (This thread will later be stickied, but I'm leaving it as a regular thread for now so people actually SEE it).
     
  2. AdmiralNick22

    AdmiralNick22 Fleet Admiral of Literature star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    May 28, 2003
    Special thanks to DarthInternous for doing this! This forum used to have a great reputation for welcoming VIP's from the Star Wars publishing world, I'm thrilled that we are slowing getting back to that. :)

    --Adm. Nick
     
  3. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Thanks, happy to (hopefully) provide some help where possible. Ask away!

    (Littens is definitely a name that is going to stick.)
     
  4. jamminjedi23

    jamminjedi23 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2015
    I have generally wondered how far in advance titles get planned out. When you are planning out titles you want to do next are those often titles that will end up getting released a year from now or two years from now...etc...etc....?
     
    iPodwithnomusic and kalzeth like this.
  5. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017
    It absolutely varies. Some projects (like Kenobi) are in the works for years, might go through changes in format or scope etc. Aftermath was in development for quite a long while as well.

    Some projects come together quickly based on a specific opportunity or because a great idea came along that will be most effective if it's released in a specific window. Canto Bight for example was a rather recent decision and wasn't in progress quite as long.

    But the goal is always to work far in advance. There's stuff being worked on now you might not hear about for a long while.
     
  6. lordpixie

    lordpixie Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 30, 2015
    hi has there been any characters are books you guys had high hopes on that fans never really got into ? thanks in advance for the reply :)
     
  7. comradepitrovsky

    comradepitrovsky Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Jan 5, 2017
    What's your favorite part of your job? What's the coolest thing that you've done as part of your job?
     
  8. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Not really. Amongst the team we all have characters we individually champion, but never really had expectations for anyone that fell flat.
     
    Jedi Ben likes this.
  9. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Basically the same answer. Spending time getting to know amazing authors and helping craft great SW stories with them. It's a pretty familial atmosphere.

    Getting to moderate panels at Cons is also pretty cool.
     
  10. Stymi

    Stymi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 10, 2002
    Hello! You work for Del Rey, correct? How do you handle coordinating the release of SW books with the release of SW books from other publishers, be it novels or comics, so the market isn't swamped, to space out when books are published, and ensure the content is both coherent with others publishers and does not contradict work produced by other publishers? Is this one of the main jobs of the Story Group? How does the story group work with Del Rey, since Del Rey is not Disney owned?

    Sent from my Moto X-Wing
     
    CooperTFN likes this.
  11. CooperTFN

    CooperTFN TFN EU Staff Emeritus star 6 VIP

    Registered:
    Jul 8, 1999
    Who's your least favorite member of Story Group?
     
    Iron_lord, Darth_Duck and Stymi like this.
  12. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017
    Lucasfilm works with us the same way they work with EA, IDW, DK, Quirk, and a host of other partners. They have a really good team and we have long relationships with them. So it's all a collaborative effort with regard to everything you asked about.
     
    Stymi and Jedi Ben like this.
  13. T7-01

    T7-01 Jedi Knight star 1

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2016
    How do you decide an author for a book? For example why did Wendig write Aftermath or JJM A New Dawn?
     
  14. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017
    It's about knowing an author's strengtths as a writer and matching them with a concept that will let them use those strengths. If we aren't doing that we're setting a writer up to fail.

    So we read a bunch of their previous work and identify what they do well. Could be writing style or character work or worldbuilding, etc etc.

    I've always got a list of authors I'm considering and tracking. At the moment I'm reading 4 novels trying to asses a crop of potential new authors
     
  15. jamminjedi23

    jamminjedi23 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2015
    It's great to hear that you all put so much care into your product over there at Del Rey. I wish you guys could have handled the Walking Dead series of novels as well. I have a sneaking suspicion the editors for that series don't even bother to read the books before they print them. There are so many continuity errors and other mistakes in each of the past three or four releases it's not even funny. It has gotten to the point to where I am almost ashamed to be addicted enough to the TWD universe that I have to be a completionist for it.
     
  16. Force Smuggler

    Force Smuggler Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Sep 2, 2012
    Dang. Dedication. Looking forward to seeing who those authors might be.
     
    Revanfan1 and Jedi Ben like this.
  17. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017

    That's part of the regular process of the job. We are sent author names and sample material pretty consistently. We read, review, discuss, etc. Sometimes we decide the person is ready now, other times we look for ways to test them out (short stories, etc), and sometimes we decide they aren't quite ready and want to see a larger body of work from them. There isn't a catch all formula, it is different author to author. But, reviewing and reading is paramount. Whenever I see feedback from fans about a new author announcement that starts with "I haven't read anything by them, but...." I laugh. If you aren't doing the reading, you are unqualified to make an assessment about that author's writing talents.
     
  18. jamminjedi23

    jamminjedi23 Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 19, 2015
    I'm sure you probably end up opening up a lot of books that you don't really care for then. How much of a book do you usually try to get through in order to feel like you are giving the author a fair shake in deciding rather they would be someone you think Del Rey would be interested in looking into more?
     
  19. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017

    Pretty much all of it. If it is a published book I'm going to finish it, because it's already gone through editorial processes and has some merit at least. Plus I often want to be able to tell that an author can stick the landing on the ending.

    If I'm evaluating original manuscripts (for non-star wars, non-licensed stuff) I may not finish it. Sometimes you can tell pretty easily that a book isn't working, and even if it suddenly became Shakespeare on page 125, that the first 124 pages are bad is still a big problem.
     
  20. bsmith7174

    bsmith7174 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2015
    I have only started reading the Del Rey novels since A New Dawn. I understand in the past that there were a lot of long series (3+ book series). Right now we have the Aftermath Trilogy (which I loved). Should we expect more trilogies and longer series or is that something you have started to move away from?

    Thanks :)
     
    iPodwithnomusic and kalzeth like this.
  21. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017

    We certainly aren't averse to doing series, trilogies, etc. The question we ask is "does this story support multiple books?" The answer for Aftermath was a pretty obvious yes. A big grand story with multiple major plot developments and character progression/arcs that demanded multiple books to be told effectively.

    But, in recent years we've sort of approached series storytelling in a different way (some of this is unintentional). Catalyst and the Rogue One Novelization are effectively a duology, they just aren't labeled that way. The two Battlefront books we've done are also a "series" thematically, but don't need to be read in any order or even read together at all. And with the next Thrawn book, is that technically Thrawn 2, sure, but a reader could skip right to Thrawn: Alliances and not be completely lost.

    So, we're approaching series from a variety of angles. But I do think we'll see more traditional series at some point. When, how long or with what subject matter I couldn't possibly tell you. I doubt you'll see 9 book series again unless the perfect concept came along.
     
  22. bsmith7174

    bsmith7174 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 17, 2015
    Can you say if those interludes in the Aftermath Trilogy were purposefully setting up other things down the line? For example I'm really intrigued by the Mandalorian armor side story (Boba??).
     
    kalzeth likes this.
  23. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017

    They were not purposely setting up other things.

    The DS2 being destroyed and Vader/Emperor dying (sorry Jello) is a massive event. So massive that as we were telling the story about what happened next we knew we wanted to see the ripple effect across a wide swath of the galaxy. How do people react from Coruscant all the way to the Outer Rim? From entire planets right down to individual families. That was the number one goal of those interludes. In Books 2 and 3 it also became about checking in with some of the important characters that didn't play a role in the plot of the trilogy, but whom we still wanted to see in this time period (Lando, Jar Jar, etc.)

    So while it wasn't the explicit purpose, we all understood there was certainly some opportunity. And certainly you can totally imagine stories involving the Acolytes, or the Anklebiter Brigade, or Eleodie and zher burgeoning pirate fleet someday. But there's no guarantee that'll happen.
     
  24. Outsourced

    Outsourced Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2017
    What is the process like for someone working on licensed Star Wars titles, going from someone who hasn't yet written anything in the universe to someone who is well known as a 'Star Wars Author'?
     
  25. DarthInternous

    DarthInternous Del Rey Associate Editor star 2 VIP

    Registered:
    Feb 7, 2017
    I'm not sure I understand your question Outsourced